Okay, let me get this straight. The ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest, whose only point appears to get governments to remove all restrictions and mandates they have ever issued in the history of restrictions and mandates, have caused the federal government to implement even more of the aforementioned restrictions and mandates. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you guys aren’t very good at this protest thing.
By implementing The Emergencies Measures Act on Monday, the federal government put into place, a whole lot of legal ugly for people who are involved in clogging up the roads and border crossings, across the country. Legal ugly that will follow them well into the future. Even though, the Act impacts all Canadians, when the Prime Minister says “I want to be very clear, the scope of these measures will be time-limited, geographically targeted, as well as, reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address…”, I believe him, and I feel pretty confident, he’s not talking to me.
I have no fear that my SUV will be towed from my driveway by the authorities, or that my debit card will be rejected at the ATM for insufficient funds. I don’t have millions of dollars worth of farm machinery abandoned on the highway in southern Alberta. I know I have nothing to worry about from the Emergencies Measures Act, and neither do more than 99% of other Canadians. The government isn’t talking to us!
The EMA has provisions that allow the government to attack the protesters where it really matters, the wallet. Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland (isn’t that a great name), stated that the government would be ‘following the money’. The ‘money’ she is mostly referring to, is the millions of dollars donated online to fund raising sites. The Act makes them subject to a boat load of financial measures and oversite, after a hack at GiveSendGo, exposed the names and amounts of donors. Anonymous was identified by the hack. It turns out that more than half of the donations made were coming from the US!! And from some nefarious US organizations!! Legally the government can freeze this money. It makes these online sites subject to terrorist and money laundering laws. They now have some explaining to do.
But this isn’t just about big-money, the frontline protester wasn’t forgotten by the finance minister and the EMA, “We are today serving notice, if your truck is being used in these illegal blockades, your corporate accounts will be frozen. The insurance on your vehicle will be suspended. Send your semi trailers home…” Freeland said on Monday. The message got out about what could happen to the individual protester, when the RCMP showed up at the blockade on Tuesday morning and started writing down plate numbers and taking pictures of the trucks sitting idling in the middle of the road, the protesters started to move. By late afternoon on Tuesday, traffic was moving at every border across the country and police were reporting that the protesters had promised that vehicles that were blocking the roadways there, would be gone by Wednesday.
For anybody that is of the opinion that the ‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ was a legal protest. That the protesters were allowed to be there and protest, that they were doing nothing wrong or illegal, let me explain this in ‘stupid’ for you. It is legal to protest in Canada and the EMA doesn’t change that. Feel free to stand on the side of the road with signs and scream obscenities at others. You look like an ass, but no one is stopping you! What is illegal though, is that you can’t abandon or park your vehicle in the middle of the road and block traffic. You were never allowed too! The roads belong to me too!
The Canadian police agencies have been patient rather than confrontational throughout this entire event, and because of that, there has been no violence and no one has been killed. Things may not have moved as quickly as they could have. The police could have thrown tear gas at the protesters, like French police did when a protest of support for Canadian truckers showed up in Paris. There were no water cannons used to put down the unrest. The police didn’t show up dressed in riot gear, carrying shields. The mainly peaceful protest, was met with peaceful law enforcement. It is the way we do it in this nation.
Not all the protesters are leaving, but a majority of this small minority, are packing up and heading home. The ones that remain, will feel the impact of the EMA where they stand. The choice is up to each of them to make. After all, it already is a free Canada.
My personal opinion is that the EMA lacks one element, that should be considered when this law is re-examined after it expires, the poetic element. In this case, it would be to take the remaining protesters to the US border and push them across. Wave them goodbye, and tell them to go find the nearest Republican politician, who has been supporting their actions, and apply for sanctuary. I wouldn’t be surprised if US citizenship wasn’t expediated, so they could get registered for the US mid-term elections in the fall.